Education & Business, Uncategorized

5 Reasons Why To Hire A Pro Makeup Artist

I'm Natalie, a makeup artist based in Wiesbaden, Germany. I truly believe that makeup, when applied well, can transform us in so many ways. This blog is a space for inspiration, education, and advice. My posts are always unsponsored and never contain affiliate links.

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I meet so many ladies who approach me asking how much I charge for a makeup application. Normally after I answer I sense a bit of discomfort with the price. See, most gals like to go to beauty counters like MAC, Sephora, or other department store beauty counters to get the “free” makeup application. In their minds, paying for a makeup application is too much. However, the reason most of these ladies ask me how much I charge is because they’ve had bad experiences at said makeup counters. “I walked away looking like a clown.” “They did my eye makeup way too dark.” “I spent the next hour after they finished doctoring up their work.”

If these sentiments feel familiar to you, trust me in knowing that I feel the same way…because yes, I too have entrusted makeup counters in my youth and even adulthood to glam me up for my big event (mostly because I didn’t want to worry about it) and walked away woefully disappointed and sometimes, cheated. I walked away from most of these makeovers extensively doctoring up my makeup, not liking it, or spending more money than I would have on products that I didn’t really need or want.

While I never, ever pressure anyone I meet to hire a professional makeup artist, I simply cannot remain silent anymore. Thus, I have put together a list of why to hire a professional makeup artist…and not just scoot over to the local department store to save a few bucks.

Hire A Professional Makeup Artist To…

1. Save Money…Wait, What?!

While some makeup counters do not charge a fee for a full makeup application, many do. Many of these counters charge either a small fee for service or a product purchase requirement. Furthermore, the makeup artists at these counters are ultimately salespeople. They are in retail sales and while many of these makeup artists are incredibly talented at their craft (and do freelance on the side—you should ask them if they do makeup on the side if you love their work), they are driven and rewarded to sell products at their counters.

I know the local MAC store charged $75 in product purchases for a full makeover around Prom season and Sephora charges $50 in product purchases for a full makeup application (unless you are VIB Rouge or spend $1000/year at Sephora, they are gratis). Most women walk away spending far more in products they would’ve bought anyways or were waiting to buy. Others feel guilty into buying something they didn’t really need, want, or like and well, that’s money down the drain (goes along with #5). Often times these purchases result in regret or make “return” trips (which many of the makeup counters are starting to monitor…).

How much is your time worth?

For me, time is money and the less time I have to wait, haggle, or possibly wait for an unexperienced makeup artist (depending on how lucky you are) to figure out which brush to use next, is just not worth it.

So when should I go to a department store, MAC, or Sephora for my makeup application?

With #1 being said, I totally encourage you to schedule a makeover at your favorite makeup counter for the following reasons:
– Try their {new} product line(s)
– Freshen up or intensify your look
– To learn some new tricks

For example, the professional makeup artist in me decided to use my free Sephora makeover for my birthday dinner. (Free when I became VIB Rouge).

Nonetheless, I was able to communicate to the makeup artist that I wanted to try the Marc Jacobs foundation but also told her that I didn’t want to use Makeup Forever since I am already so familiar with the brand. Outside of that, I said I’d love to try some of the new favorites. She used the new Anastasia eye palette on my eyes, the NARS concealers as my contouring, Becca’s Champagne Pop (had to try it), and a Kat Von D lip stain. I was able to wear these products all night, see how they lasted, how they photographed, and most importantly, know how they made me feel. She did a great job but at the same time, I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for it because it was not “me.” It was more like a free makeover, if that makes sense.

 2. Feel Like A Moviestar. Yes, really.

First of all, when I think of hiring a professional makeup artist to do my makeup, I think of a luxury experience. You see glamorous women on television with their own makeup artists, in the comfort of their own home (or choice location). When you hire a pro, you don’t need to haggle or feel guilty for a) not buying something or b) not liking their work. There’s you + the makeup artist (and possibly a hair team). You choose the interaction level as much or as little as you want. If you don’t like your makeup, a good professional makeup artist should immediately cue onto these signs and make it right. When you are at a counter, the next gal waiting in line is pressuring the makeup artist to finish and well, you feel guilty for not liking it and having to spend money. The professional makeup artist you hire is interested in you and only you.

I personally pride myself in providing a luxury service I myself would want to, and pay to receive.

I ask my clients several questions related to their makeup application before I even meet them so that I can be prepared (and prepare my kit) especially for their event. I’m not there to test out new products or try out the new fad—unless of course that’s what they want! I am there to make my clients feel confident and beautiful through their makeup application appropriate for whatever their event may be.

3. Feel Confident that You’ve Hired A Professional, Deeply Invested In Their Work

For many professional makeup artists like myself, our career success depends on stellar results and customer satisfaction. We are extremely dedicated to our craft and we know if we don’t put 100% into it, it not only reflects poorly on our quality of work but also may have negative implications to our business, both present and future. (Pati Dubroff, pictured in circle at left, is reknown makeup artist for celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, and Charlize Theron…her hard work has taken her to the level trusted by the stars).

While we love positive reviews on various review platforms but nothing… absolutely nothing {for me anyways} beats the beaming confidence I see in my clients faces after their makeup application. I feel so empowered after I empower a woman by unleashing her natural beauty with the power of makeup. I repeat, I do makeup because of the great joy it brings my clients. (On the other hand, we can swiftly identify any sort of insecurity or dissatisfaction with the application, in which case ::breathe:: it’s MAKEUP. We can wash it off, tame it down or change it…)

Now, I’m not saying you will not receive this same level of investment from a makeup artist at the beauty counter but unless they are personally invested in how your makeup turns out…it is likely that you are just another client, another customer. To me, you are a Hollywood, red-carpet model. Whether you book me for a work event or your wedding, I care about how you look for your debut and throughout the duration of your event.

4. Quality Control

Cleanliness next to Godliness

The positive of going to one of these counters is that sanitation is taken seriously, mostly because of quick client turn-around. They take cleanliness and disinfecting seriously, and for good reason. They have a large amount of people swabbing their hands and knuckles and palms into their products. Do they get everything? I sure hope so.

My kit on the other hand is used only by me and on my clients exclusively. I require my clients to have a freshly washed (and moisturized) clean face. If it isn’t, I have some face wash for them. My brushes are deeply washed between clients. If I have multiple clients in a row, I clean the brushes on the spot (I love the Sephora brush cleaning swabs) but keep an arsenal of extra brushes as well.  What I’m trying to get at is there aren’t thousands of strangers testing out my loot. It’s my clean brushes… my controlled makeup. My sanitized eyeliner pencils. *Note- I do not use felt tipped or liquid eyeliners on my clients because they are hard to clean between clients without drying out the product. Keep that in the back of your mind when testing those babies out*

Exclusive Products:

If I wrote a post on how to hire a professional makeup artist for your next big event I would start by having my clients ask, “What’s in your kit?” Professional makeup artists who use only one product line should raise eyebrows. First, the makeup could be generic brand x makeup that is used in beauty school. While some lines are o-k, other are waxy, known to be full of preservatives, look cakey, break out your skin, the list goes on.

There are so, so many different makeup brands that make up my kit and as the makeup industry changes, so does my kit. 10 years ago, I was only using MAC, YSL, or Christian Dior foundations…but you know what, those aren’t my go-to foundations anymore. (Now, I’m not saying I don’t and wouldn’t use these brands – I totally would, but not necessarily for the same purpose).

Remember, formulations change, brands change, and what was good five years ago might not be the same today… There are exceptions and some cult classics that always will be go-tos, but for the most part, a large part of my job involve product testing and learning. That costs me personally a lot of time and a lot of money.

A diverse kit and extensive product knowledge is key and unfortunately, while the makeup artists at your local MAC or department store may have extensive product knowledge, you’ll be hard pressed to get them to recommend products outside what they sell because…why? You guessed it; they are in the sales business. Sephora or Ulta could be the exception but remember, they don’t carry everything.

5. Relax…Take It Easy. There’s No Pressure.

This kind of goes along with #2…but you have NO pressure to buy anything. Nothing. You pay what was agreed (plus a customary tip) and you walk away feeling gorgeous, confident, and like a million bucks. You just had a luxurious, relaxing, non-threatening experience and the pictures from your special event (or even just the memories)…well, they will last a lifetime.  You also build a rapport with that makeup artist and consequent makeovers will go quicker and get better with time (just like a hairstylist whose been doing your hair for years). As a matter of fact, you should feel warm and fuzzy with your decision because you stimulated and supported your local economy.  Paying a freelance or professional makeup artist stimulates the local economy and also supports the small business owner, not the big corporation.


Hope this helps you decide if/when to hire a pro for your next big event. If you are interested in booking a makeover or a one-on-one makeup bag overhaul or instruction…you can learn more about all my makeup services here.!

Remember, Stay beautiful!
xo
Natalie Setareh

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Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin